A WOMAN has revealed her ‘world crashed around her’ after discovering her ex-boyfriend had secretly filmed them having sex, then sent the tape to hundreds of people.
The former Love Islander, who’s herself been a victim of the crime twice, once when she was 14 and again while on Love Island, chatted with Sarah on last night’s show.
Sarah says the first few years with her ex-boyfriend were ‘fantastic’, but things took a sinister turn when she tried to end the five-year relationship.
“We were madly in love. It felt intense,” she said about her ex, who was pictured but not named.
But after her ex got wind she wanted to end things, he decided to seek revenge.
Sarah opened up about her experience on BBC Documentary Zara McDermott: Revenge PornCredit: Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn/BBC
Sarah explained: “I didn’t stay strong through the whole breakup process, so we’d gone upstairs to spend one last night together.
“You want to be close to someone, you want it to feel like it always was. But it was a complete set up.”
Uneknownst to her, he’d set his phone up to secretly record them having sex, and after getting the footage sent it to hundreds of people.
Sarah says the first few years with her ex were ‘fantastic’ and they were in loveCredit: Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn/BBC
Sarah’s family, friends and colleagues were all sent the graphic footage.
She recalled the sickening moment she found out, saying: “He’d set his phone up in the corner of the bedroom and recorded us.
“He’d sent it to my work colleagues, managers, my mum, dad, sister, my auntie, old friends, old work colleagues, his friends – hundreds of people.”
But things turned sinister after she tried to end their five-year relationshipCredit: Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn/BBC
Horrified by what she was hearing, Zara, 24, said: “That’s scary that people can go to those kind of lengths and premeditated steps with a person in a relationship. This has affected her so much emotionally.
“The scars will always remain from what she’s gone through.”
Sarah headed straight to the police, saying: “I don’t remember getting to the police station. I don’t even remember sitting in that room now.
Sarah says her ex set up his phone and filmed them having sexCredit: Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn/BBC
“My whole world had crashed down. It was just dark times that take your brain to places that nobody should go to.
“You shouldn’t doubt about how you can wake up the next morning. You shouldn’t doubt how you can ever leave the house again.
“Nobody should ever be able to do that to another person – and that’s what he did.”
Sarah says the footage was sent to her friends, family and even her colleaguesCredit: Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn/BBC
Sarah read out a victim impact statement to the court, for the judge to take into account for sentencing, which she said she was ‘terrified’ to do.
As she fought back tears, she said: “It’s almost impossible to put into words the pain and suffering I’ve been through over the past two-and-a-half years.
“The day I was told by a work colleague that intimate images of myself had been sent to my company inbox, my world came crashing down.
Sarah said her ex pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prisonCredit: Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn/BBC
“’The feeling of humiliation as a young woman, having my body made so public, was crushing.
“Even today I hate to see my body in the mirror. During this time, my dad was undergoing treatment for cancer – leaving him helpless to protect his daughter.
“The trauma this bought to us as a family was unforgivable.”
Zara has been the victim of revenge porn twice, once when she was 14 and during her stint on Love IslandCredit: BBC
Sarah’s ex pleaded guilty to hacking, stalking and revenge porn, and he was sentenced to four years behind bars.
Relieved, Sarah said: “I’ve got some great, great news. He was sentenced to four years in prison – and was taken away there and then.
“I can’t believe it. When I left the witness box, I felt strong, I felt like I’d made a stand. I felt like I’d shown him that I’m not scared of him anymore.”
Zara has been working to tighten the laws surrounding revenge pornCredit: INSTAGRAM/SAM THOMPSON
Zara praised Sarah’s courage throughout the legal process, commenting: “The fact that she found this incredible inner strength.
“There is a definitive black and white with these kinds of crimes and situations and the fact of the matter is, revenge porn is a crime and you can go to prison for it.”
Zara, who’s dating fellow reality TV star Sam Thompson, has been campaigning for the law to be tightened over revenge porn, after being a victim herself when she was a teenager, and during her stint on Love Island in 2018.
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